Before the pandemic struck, only around 15 % of employees were working from home and at that time, home office seemed like a great perk. However, those numbers have drastically increased since COVID 19 hit, now it’s more like 50% employees that are working from home.
Before COVID-19, 62% of employees reported positive mental health. As the pandemic continues, that number has dipped to just 28% they report. Perhaps not surprisingly, job satisfaction and job motivation have also fallen—job satisfaction from 57% to 32% and job motivation from 56 percent to 36 percent.
Interestingly, over a third of people felt their schedules improved (33 percent), and they had a better work-life balance (38 percent) after they started home-working. These benefits did not help to alleviate stress for a significant portion of employees.
‘The Martec Group study found that only 24 percent of employees felt like their stress levels improved working from home, and 42 percent reported increased stress levels. Pay did not seem to be a factor.’
The impact of quarantine and working from home on mental health is mostly negative; workers might struggle to sharp and maintain their sanity, some might experience loneliness, anxiety, stress and the lack of face-to-face interaction.
Because of working from home and lack of socialising, the employees might feel more isolated and disconnected. That correlates to teamwork and employee engagement. When working from home, workers can only communicate via email or occasional calls, which hardly substitutes the benefits of face-to-face work and cooperation in the office.
The lack of motivation is another 'side effect' of working from home. The office is naturally a workspace that encourages workers to feel ambitious, creative and motivated, and it is a space designated for work. Meanwhile, their home is a place to relax and rest, where work is put aside, it is also full of distractions. It is hard to self-motivate while being stuck in one room every day of every week for months in a row.
There is no quick fix to this, but there are a few tips and techniques out there to help tackle working from home and feeling better. It is crucial to stick to a routine and have a dedicated workspace without any distractions, that should help to feel focused, productive and motivated. And most importantly, it is essential to know when to take a break and be kind to yourself.
The employer can also do a few things to help reduce stress, negative emotions, and improve the mental health of their employees. It is important to acknowledge their birthdays and similar events that would usually be celebrated in the office. It shows the employee his importance in the company and is a sign of appreciation.
In the times of working from home, workers may experience a sense of loneliness and lack of socialising; therefore, try to find ways to make the worker feel connected and included. For example little appreciation gift is guaranteed to lift the mood. Or a fun, team building idea to bring the team together can help with isolation and feelings of loneliness.
Here at Colleague Box, we have great experience of creating gift boxes to suit any budget so if you were looking at sending your team a little something direct to their door, we can help you whether you're looking to send one box, 20 boxes or 20,000. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our friendly team on 01332 955745.